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The Axe Factor: A Jimm Juree Mystery    by Colin Cotterill order for
Axe Factor
by Colin Cotterill
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2014 (2004)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Axe Factor is the third (following Killed at the Whim of a Hat and Grandad, There's a Head on the Beach) in Colin Cotterill's immensely entertaining Jimm Juree mysteries. You can tell from the titles that this author has a sense of humor and it's never more evident than in this latest episode, the best to date.

Cotterill essentially writes himself into the mystery, in the guise of handsome fifty-something farang Conrad Coralbank, an award-winning crime writer - and a possible axe murderer - who has settled in Southern Thailand. The local paper, the Chumphon Gazette, sends journalist Jimm out to interview him and there's a strong mutual attraction. But little does Jimm know what she's getting herself into.

She's threatened (with an axe) and there's an attempt to poison the family's rescue dogs. These events pull her Grandad (once a traffic cop as he wasn't corrupt enough for the real deal) into the investigation. In fact, Jimm's entire family and her friends grow concerned about her infatuation with the writer, whose Thai wife has already gone missing.

While this plot steadily thickens, Jimm enlists her super hacker sister Sissi to track down a missing doctor, after local nurse Da asks for her help. Jimm learns that the doctor was vehemently protesting the dubious marketing tactics of a multinational in selling its baby formula products to Thai women. And on the family front, Jimm and her siblings finally learn what led to their father Captain Kow's long desertion.

The Axe Factor is tons of fun (including Jimm's ROFL email attempts to sell screenplays to Clint Eastwood) and I can't wait for more of the Thai reporter/resort cook's hilarious antics in the next episode.

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